Did I receive Jesus unworthily?


#1

During Mass last week I yawned on my hand. After I realised I had, I was hesitant to shake hands with anyone. I did anyway because I thought I was just being scrupulous. Did I make them receive Jesus with unclean hands? It was on the back of my hand, not affecting me, but I'm mostly worried about other people.

I'm almost certain I'm being ridiculous about it, but have I done anything wrong?


#2

[quote="Eman_resu, post:1, topic:308347"]
During Mass last week I yawned on my hand. After I realised I had, I was hesitant to shake hands with anyone. I did anyway because I thought I was just being scrupulous. Did I make them receive Jesus with unclean hands? It was on the back of my hand, not affecting me, but I'm mostly worried about other people.

I'm almost certain I'm being ridiculous about it, but have I done anything wrong?

[/quote]

I think that this is just scrupulosity; I have seen people sneeze on their hands (not on the back of their hands either) before shaking another person's hand for the Sign of Peace. Anyway, everyone has some germs and bacteria on their hand period. You did not do anything wrong.


#3

Yes, you are being scrupulous. If this is typical for you, I would encourage you to seek direction from a priest on dealing with scrupulosity.


#4

[quote="Eman_resu, post:1, topic:308347"]
During Mass last week I yawned on my hand. After I realised I had, I was hesitant to shake hands with anyone. I did anyway because I thought I was just being scrupulous. Did I make them receive Jesus with unclean hands? It was on the back of my hand, not affecting me, but I'm mostly worried about other people.

I'm almost certain I'm being ridiculous about it, but have I done anything wrong?

[/quote]

One solution to any issue in this area:

Receive on the tongue. It is still the normative form of reception for the Holy Eucharist anyway. Additionally, it helps you build more reverence for our Lord.

Just a thought.


#5

Any display of reverence towards Him whom the heavens cannot contain and before whom the holy Seraphim cover their faces is far from ridiculous.

There are excellent reasons why many of us are profoundly displeased with the custom of receiving Holy Communion on the hands rather than on the tongue. In fact, the ordinary form to receive Holy Communion remains on the tongue, and one is even free to kneel (though very few do it in the ordinary form of the Mass) in order to make sure the Holy Eucharist does not fall on the ground by mistake (since, for some reasons, patens have disappeared from most Parrishes).

Do not worry about this specific circumstance: I don't certainly see anything wrong here. You should however not be exceedingly troubled when you noticed that something may go wrong. Remember that as long as it was not your intention to do something wrong, we all make mistakes. Even priests can make mistakes during the celebration of the divine mysteries!

Remain in the love of the Lord, and remember: the reverence you display in the church enhances the reverence that others will display.

http://forums.catholic.com/picture.php?albumid=2069&pictureid=13853


#6

Part of the reason why I always receive on the tongue. I find it funny that there are so many germaphobes out there, but yet so many people have no issue shaking everyone's hands and then receiving Communion on the hands. At least the priest rinses his hands before consecration. I won't even get into the reverence and such.


#7

CITH vs. COTT debate aside, it’s still scrupulous for the OP to think that this was sinful.


#8

[quote="GangGreen, post:6, topic:308347"]
At least the priest rinses his hands before consecration.

[/quote]

You are referring to the Lavabo here :o True, this originated for the sake of cleanness, but it has deeper meaning.

Here's what the priest prays according to the usus antiquor:

I will wash my hands among the innocent, and I will compass Thine altar, O Lord. That I may hear the voice of Thy praise, and tell of all Thy wondrous works.

I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house and the place where Thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with bloody men. In whose hands are iniquities, their right hand is filled with gifts.

But as for me I have walked in mine innocence: redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the direct way; in the churches I will bless Thee, O Lord.

In the General Instructions of the Roman Missal we read:

  1. The priest then washes his hands as an expression of his desire to be cleansed within.

In the novus ordo Mass the priest says:

Lord, wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

But I think we've lost through the years the concept of just how unworthy our hands are of holding the Holy Eucharist. It's very sad.


#9

[quote="Joe_5859, post:7, topic:308347"]
CITH vs. COTT debate aside, it's still scrupulous for the OP to think that this was sinful.

[/quote]

He is not being scrupulous. He is concerned. I would consider this a sin, although venial considering the fact that the intention was not to touch the Host like this.

So let's consider the criteria:
Grave matter to touch the body of our Lord with unclean hands....indeed.
Consented to touch the Host even after the OP considered that it could be a sin....indeed.
Intended to get mucus and saliva in his hand before receiving....Nope.

Definitely venial sin. Thank goodness the Eucharist absolves venial sin though.


#10

Eman resu,

If you are concerned about this, please discuss this with your priest. He will set you straight.

The idea that it is even a venial sin to yawn in one's hand prior the sign of peace and others receiving Communion is one of the more over-the top concerns I have seen mentioned here on CAF. And I've been around a while.

Be at peace!


#11

No, you did not receive unworthily. Yawning, coughing, sneezing, etc. are involuntary bodily functions. In other words, God designed your body to do them. If what you did constitutes receiving unworthily, then the very fact that you drove to church (thereby soiling your hands on the steering wheel) means you did as well. Or touching the Missal that someone else used before you. Even if you used hand sanitizer before receiving or shaking hands, one could argue that made one "unworthy" as well, because sanitizer is a man-made chemical. Now you have no germs, but you do have chemicals on your hands. Which is worse...? I'm not saying this to make fun of you or add to your burden. Satan loves to keep people from receiving the Eucharist. If he can't do it by having us commit a mortal sin right before Mass so we can't receive, then he'll do it by trying to convince us that we have somehow done something wrong during Mass. The last thing he wants is people in a state of grace receiving the Eucharist. Unless it's people who aren't in a state of grace making a good confession.

I'm not saying we shouldn't show proper respect for the Eucharist. We should. But we shouldn't go over the top, because then we deny the efficaciousness of it. It is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. That's powerful enough to overcome any germs. Besides, no matter what you do, your hands will never be perfectly clean. And even if you receive on the tongue, unless you are the first person to receive from the priest, he's touched other mouths and other tongues before yours. Does that make his hands unclean? Of course not, and no one would think so.

Also, ask yourself, what if the priest did what you did. Would you think him unworthy to receive or distribute the Eucharist? Or would you think perhaps he had been up all night with someone who was dying, yet still came to offer Mass in spite of being exhausted. Probably the latter, right? One litmus test, if you will, whenever you begin to wonder if it's okay for you to receive, just ask yourself, "If it was someone else, would I think they shouldn't receive?" Unless you can come up with a resounding, firm, "No, they shouldn't", then receive. Unless you know you are in a state of Mortal Sin ,which can never *happen "accidently" - you have to *know something is a mortal sin before you do it- then receive. With all the love and reverence you have, receive.
Kris


#12

[quote="GangGreen, post:6, topic:308347"]
Part of the reason why I always receive on the tongue.

[/quote]

I'm somewhat germophobic, which is one reason - tho not the main reason - why I receive on the tongue. I really try to avoid shaking hands, but people are offended when I don't. :(

It is difficult to explain to the greeters & to everyone around me at the Sign of Peace when my hands are painful from an arthritis flareup, or if I have a cold. At least everyone in our parish has figured out that I don't hold hands at the Our Father. A friend of mine likes to sit next to me because she knows I'm not going to grab her hand!


#13

[quote="Bonnie, post:12, topic:308347"]
I'm somewhat germophobic, which is one reason - tho not the main reason - why I receive on the tongue. I really try to avoid shaking hands, but people are offended when I don't. :(

It is difficult to explain to the greeters & to everyone around me at the Sign of Peace when my hands are painful from an arthritis flareup, or if I have a cold.

[/quote]

One thing I try to do is watch the body language of the person I am greeting or standing next to during the Our Father. If their hand is out, then I will take it. Or if I have a cold, I tell them, and wish them peace. I guess I figure I want to do whatever makes them comfortable. Personally, I think Asia has the right idea with bowing, since we no longer need to shake hands to prove we aren't hiding any weapons.:D
Kris


#14

[quote="klm120861, post:13, topic:308347"]
Personally, I think Asia has the right idea with bowing, since we no longer need to shake hands to prove we aren't hiding any weapons.:D
Kris

[/quote]

I agree - bowing would be a wonderful change!


#15

Aw- my dear, I’m sorry you suffer so much. No. - NO sin. Promise! And this, from a person with scruples, if that means anything. :shrug:


#16

I am pretty much certain that you are suffering with OCD or scrupolosity - and my sympathies to you, because it’s a very difficult and wearying thing to deal with. Try to pray something like “Jesus, I trust in you, and I want to please you - help me trust in you more and more” and you might discuss this with a spiritual director/priest as others recommended.

Don’t worry - I can’t see any sin at all in what you did.


#17

Another reason why shaking hands is totally ignorant. I was hoping they were going to get rid of this part…:frowning:


#18

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